tv CBS Evening News With Katie Couric CBS June 16, 2010 6:30pm-7:00pm EDT
7:00 for the only local newscast around here. >> couric: day 58. they finally meet face to face. the president and b.p. executives. >> b.p. has agreed to set aside $20 billion to pay claims for damages resulting from this spill. >> we have always met our obligations and responsibilities >> couric: i'm katie couric. also tonight, baby boom abusers. a stunning increase in drug and alcohol abuse by americans over 50. and two of the world's wealthiest men throw a dinner for billionaires and make a priceless proposal. captioning sponsored by cbs from cbs news world headquarters in new york, this is the "cbs evening news" with katie couric. >> couric: good evening, everyone. he said he was trying to find out who's behind a kick for that oil spill in the gulf of mexico.
today, president obama started at the top, calling b.p.'s senior executives on the white house carpet. by the time their face-to-face meeting was over, b.p. had agreed to put $20 billion into a fund to pay victims of the spill. $100 million into a separate fund for laid-off oil workers and suspend dividend payments to shareholders. b.p.'s swedish-born chairman apologized for the disaster but then stirred up more anger by referring to the victims as "the small people." meanwhile, b.p. started funneling oil to a second ship today. this one will burn some of that isle. even with that, they're capturing only a fraction of the leak which could total $2.5 million gallons evidence. tonight, we have correspondents deployed from the gulf coast to wall street to the white house. we'll begin there with chip reid. chip, this meeting was a long time coming. >> yes, katie. it was weeks ago that reporters started asking the white house why hasn't the president even spoke on the any of the b.p. executives? well, we're told the president finally decided the time had
come. in a sometimes-tense face-to-face meeting with b.p. executives, the president told them what he wanted and b.p. delivered. >> i'm pleased to announce that b.p. has agreed to set aside $20 billion to pay claims for damages resulting from this spill. >> reporter: under the agreement, b.p. will pay $5 billion a year over the next four years into a compensation fund that will be run not by b.p. or the government but by well-known washington lawyer ken feinberg, acting as an independent and impartial administrator. feinberg received generally good reviews for his handling of the fund that compensate it had victims of 9/11. but the gulf oil fund will be far more financially complex. the 9/11 fund distributed about $7 billion to survivors of less than 2,900 people killed in the attacks and to less than 2,700 who were injured. the entire process took less than three years. but the number affected by the
gulf spill could number in the tens or even hundreds of thousands, each with different circumstances and they will be allowed to file for damages again and again as their circumstances worsen. add to that the fact that the $20 billion is not a cap. if more money is needed, the government has reserved the right to demand more from b.p. that means the gulf fund could be in existence for many years. >> the people of the gulf have my commitment that b.p. will meet its obligations to them. >> reporter: for all the tough talk of finding "whose ass to kick" as the president threatened last week, the white house says this meeting was business like. the president also had a 25-minute private conversation in the oval office with b.p. chairman carl henrick van borg in which the president asked h him to keep in mind the people who are suffering. afterwards, svanberg from sweden apologized to the american people and spoke about his meeting with the president. >> he's frustrated because he cares about the small people and we care about the small people.
>> reporter: a choice of words that drew a sharp response from some inform the gulf. >> no, i don't think we little, i think they little for what they've done to our economy, our way of life. >> reporter: the president also announced today that b.p. will pay $100 million into a fund for laid off oil workers. katie? >> couric: mean meanwhile, chip, i'm sure there was a lot of discussion today about the energy bill the president talked about last night. politically possible? >> reporter: maybe, katie. one big concern is that house democrats are verier nervous abt voting on it before election day. so one possible scenario is the senate votes in july then they wait until after election day for the house to vote. >> couric: all right. chip reid at the white house. chip, thank you. even after b.p. agreed to commit billions to that compensation fund and eliminate the dividend to b.p. shareholders, the company's stock still managed a small gain today, closing just under $32 a share. but since the disaster began, the stock has lost nearly half its value. anthony mason is our senior business correspondent.
anthony, this spill, obviously, is going to cost b.p. plenty. can it survive? >> well, katie, $20 billion is a mighty big number. but the that's all b.p. has to pay, it may be getting off cheaply. b.p. will put the first $5 billion into the claim fund in the second half of this year, paying for it by e limb mating its stock dividend. then company will add another $5 billion to the fund in each of the next three years. but even as it bleeds more and more oil into the gulf, the energy giant is still a massive cash machine. >> they are financially in very strong shape. >> reporter: industry analyst andy lipow says b.p. produces 2.5 million barrels of oil everyday around the world. >> with prices at $75 a barrel, their profits are going to be close to $20 billion a year. >> reporter: what's more, b.p. has 18 billion barrels in reserve, enough to fuel the u.s. for the next two and a half years. president obama made a point of saying...
>> b.p. is a strong and viable company and it is in all of our interests that it remain so. >> reporter: and as the stock has lost nearly half its value, millions of american investors have been punished. >> because 40% of b.p.'s shareholders are united states citizens. >> reporter: including california's retirement fund which has held nearly 20 million shares. philadelphia transit workers are suing b.p. after their pension fund lost 10% of its value. as the costs of the cleanup and claims have mounted, rumors have spread that b.p. might be forceed into bankruptcy. analysts say even for a company as big as b.p., $20 billion isn't small change. >> it will cut into the meat and the bone of the operation, but they're a long way from the point where they would need to file for bankruptcy. >> reporter: but it is likely to weaken the oil giant. b.p. likes to use the tag line "beyond petroleum." whatever the ultimate cost of
this disaster, it will be hard for the company to get beyond it. katie? >> couric: anthony, i hate to suggest this, but what if they can't stop the oil from flowing? even with those relief wells? >> well, that's the wild card in all this, katie. if they can't cap the well, then who knows how thigh cost can go and analysts say then all bets are off for b.p. >> couric: anthony mason. thank you, anthony. back in the gulf, the massive operation to clean up the oil continues. that includes thousands of ships that are skimming it off the water. as kelly cobiella shows us, it is not an easy job. >> reporter: six miles off florida's shore, this coast guard ship has hit a field of oil. lieutenant commander jeff swan son and his crew are new to this, based in the much colder northeast and now cleaning the sea in 100-degree heat. >> the biggest challenge, really, is finding and locating these ribbons of oil. they're very difficult to see. >> reporter: and almost as tough to catch. made up of thousands of ham
berger sized pieces and moving with the current. did you get it? >> got a big chunk of it. >> reporter: it's slow work, moving at about two miles an hour. any faster and the oil sloshes over the boom. when the oil fills that boom, they turn on the pump which then sucks the oil into a hose on to the ship and into those tanks. this ship collected nearly 12,000 gallons of oil in three days-- a small dent in a massive spill. this is how you get to work everyday? >> everyday. >> reporter: gerry matherne thinks he's found a way to pick up the pace. >> we'll be ready. >> reporter: matherne is a ship captain and now a b.p. contractor. as he watched skimming boats struggle to keep up with the oil, he dreamt up this: a cage with a lining inside. like a massive trash bag? >> a massive trash bag that is a fill administration system. >> reporter: matherne built a prototype from p.v.c. pipe and door screens he bought at a hardware store. on his first run, matherne's invention picked up this: one
ton of weathered oil in less than two hours. and unlike boom, it works in high seas. >> i had to find a solution and we found one of the solutions and we're constantly looking for more. >> reporter: matherne's invention is now in mass production and could be on more skimming boats as soon as next week. katie? >> couric: kelly cobiella in orange beach, alabama, kelly, thank you. the victims of this disaster come from many different cultures and backgrounds, but they have one thing in common: their love of the sea. and as mark strassmann reports, many fear their way of life is disappearing before their eyes. >> reporter: kin van nguyen was up early this morning, but not to fish. along with these other vietnamese fishermen and 32,000 vietnamese living along the gulf rely on fishing, he was applying for food stamps and had a message for b.p. "tell them to hurry up and stop the spill" he said "so we can get back to work." they all want to work again. louisiana's fishing community
almost as diverse as the fish they catch. >> you know, we're all like family here. >> reporter: roy harvey has caught oysters here for 35 years and still can in one of the few waters here still open for fishing. but a ban has closed more than a third of the gulf's fishing waters. vlaho mjehovich, a croatian oysterman, admits he's reeling. >> just anxiety. you don't know what to do with yourself. >> reporter: for the houma tribe, fishing is more than what they do, it's who they are. they've fished louisiana's waters for 300 years-- until this spill >> when i go out there, i'm so happy. >> reporter: antoine dardar is a houma fisherman, like half his tribe's 17,000 members. i showed him this image, today's meeting between president obama and b.p.'s top executives. >> today it don't mean nothing, like a josh beckett, but it's not just a job, it's a whole way
of life. >> reporter: b.p. threatens the houma tribe's future. >> it's losing our heritage, our history, a part of our sole. >> reporter: houma tribal members try to explain what to the next generation what fishing means. vlaho mjehovich know it is best classroom is on the water. >> i promised my children, my two sons i would teach them. with oil coming, that promise is gone. >> reporter: for so many immigrant groups here-- especially vietnamese of late-- fishing has been their path to the american dream. but with b.p.'s spill, the futures of fishing and all those communities are now at risk. katie? >> couric: mark strassmann, thank you, mark. overseas, three days of heavy rain has led to deadly floods across southern china. media reports there say at least 42 people were killed and more than 30 missing. one man was rescued today after clinging to weeds beneath a bridge for five hours. meanwhile, in the south of france, 19 people have died in floods so strong they sent cars floating down the street. here in this country, bill gates
and warren buffett are charging fellow billionaires to open up their wallets in a very big way. national correspondent jim axelrod reports on what they're calling the giving pledge. >> reporter: warren buffett and bill gates say they don't want to be remembered as two of the richest men in the world as much as two of the most generous. >> i have everything in the world i want and then i've got all this surplus around me and i give atway surplus. >> reporter: so the two men with a combined net worth of somewhere near $100 billion threw an exclusive dinner 13 months ago. they invited 14 billionaires known for their charitable giving, including ted turner, oprah winfrey and michael bloomberg. >> we started going around the table and i asked each couple or individual to give a story of the evolution of their own philanthropic thinking and how they got where they are now and what they hope to accomplish. >> reporter: the conversation that night led to this web site today thegivingpledge.org where billionaire cans post
public pledges to give away 50% of their fortunes during the course of their lives or when they die. do they suffer from the guilty conscience? >> warren says in his pledge that guilt is not part of his thinking at all. instead, it's gratitude. >> reporter: "fortune" magazine carol lieu misknows buffett well. he shared his ultimate goal with her. >> they set their sights at $600 billion. it's a lot of money and if it went back to society it would do enormous good. >> reporter: enormous. as in enough money to wipe out pediatric aides around the world or buy enough vaccines to eradicate measles. that would ensuring the legacy of giving that buffett and gates think is the true measure of a rich life. jim axelrod, cbs news, new york. >> couric: coming up next here on the "cbs evening news," the changing face of drug abuse. it's the face of a baby boomer. [ male announcer ] fact: every time you take advil,
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and skeptics into believers. new fusion proglide. >> couric: you may think of it as a problem that plagued the young, but a new study finds drug and alcohol abuse is increasing among people old enough to be their parents. of those seeking treatment for substance abuse, more than 12% are 50 or older. that means the percentage has nearly doubled in the past 16 years. ben tracy has more. >> reporter: cleaning up the
beach is now her daily addiction. but this 56-year-old-- who doesn't want us to use her name-- is also cleaning up her life. she's been on a steady diet of alcohol and marijuana. >> i was smoking approximately five joints a day and three to four bong hits a day. >> reporter: she was a vice president at a major bank and used to get high on her way to work. now she's in treatment. and she's not alone. a new study shows that a growing number of americans over 50 are in treatment for drug and alcohol abuse. between 1992 and 2008, heroine admissions jumped from around 7,000 to fehrly 37,000. and marijuana from just 600 people to more than 6,000. those seeking treatment for cocaine abuse rose from 2,900 to 26000. >> i was doing three and a half grams a day of cocaine. >> reporter: joe mareno snorted so much cocaine he blew the cartilage out of his nose and lost his job as a lawyer.
the 62-year-old is now clean. >> it almost took my life. cocaine almost took my life. >> reporter: alcohol is still the most widely abused drug of those over 50, but the use of illicit drugs may stem from two things, the population is getting old soredly there's simply more people using, and the baby boomer generation grew up at a time when drug use was prevalent. >> the earlier people initiate use, it increases the chances that they will continue to use throughout their lives. >> reporter: in fact, three quarters of older americans admitted for treatment started using drugs before they were 25. dr. david saks said another factor is today's retirees have too much time on their hands. >> they have money, they are healthier, and they're bored. >> reporter: but for some former users, life is just now beginning. >> i feel way better than any drug or any alcohol ever made me feel. >> reporter: showing it really is never too late to change. ben tracy, cbs news, los angeles. >> couric: at the u.s. capital
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19-year-old woman refusing the ticket and resisting arrest. another teenager shoves the police officer who then purges her. both teens were arrested. the officer who says he was simply protecting himself has been reassigned. something strange, meanwhile, is happening at soccer's world cup. take a good look at the fans cheering for north korea as it faces brazil yesterday. are those fans really north korean in the north has reportedly recruited chinese actors and dancers to support its team in south africa. they've clearly take on the the role and are not saying if they're hired stand-ins. 50 years ago tonight, new yorkers lined up in the rain for the premier of a movie hyped as so shocking no one would be admitted after it started. it was alfred hitchcock's "psycho," chosen by the american film institute as the number-one thriller of all time. and while critics gave it mixed reviews, it killed at the box office. (screaming)
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i volunteered for this assignment because this is my home. i'll be here in the gulf as long as it takes to make this right. introducing total plus omega-3 honey almond flax cereal. all the nutrition of total, plus 10% daily value omega-3 ala, and a delicious honey almond crunch. new total plus omega-3. >> couric: finally tonight, the city of massillon, ohio, is giving new meaning to the phrase
"boom town." a factory there is working overtime to help clean up the gulf of mexico and, as seth doane reports, solving two problems at once. >> i was unemployed for a year and a half. >> i was unemployed for a year. >> i've been look for work... >> reporter: cries for help here. >> it's been rough. it's been real rough out here. >> reporter: ...answering other cries here. >> i don't think there's an end in sight. >> reporter: in just a few weeks an old building in massillon, ohio, has been transformed to respond to the tragedy in the gulf. what did this warehouse look like a couple weeks ago? >> empty. totally empty. >> reporter: now stanwood boom works makes that familiar bright-colored oil containment boom. >> it's similar to rallying around any cause, around 9/11 or anything you see here. these people are rallying around the cause and trying to protect the coastal line. >> reporter: they originally sold just the parts, but jeff
dimos figured they could quickly asemi-ible the boom itself and finding willing workers in a place with more than 12% unemployment was even easier. how many people have you put to work? >> we've put over 80 people to work here. a lot of these people didn't have jobs before. >> reporter: chadd hensel was one of them. what's changed at home since you found this job? >> everything, just the attitudes and the... it's been a lot happier at home. >> reporter: about the time his baby girl was born, he lost his manufacturing job. searching for work ever since. >> say hi, dad da! >> reporter: what's the motivation? >> just to help out down there. it's getting worse by the day, spreading real fast and the more we get out, the more we can help. >> reporter: they're producing about 2.5 miles of boom here everyday and have already shipped out enough to protect more than 30 miles of coastline. still, there are more than 1,300 miles of shoreline to protect.
>> these are all people that want jobs. >> reporter: so with a list on the wall and a lineup of applicants, they hope to expand production. what do you say to someone who's saying "well, these guys are making money out of someone else's misfortune"? >> i would say there's a good door and a bad door and this is the good door. we're putting people to work in the u.s. right now that didn't have jobs and we're remedying the cause. >> reporter: along with the booms, producing at least some good news, too. >> one, two, three! >> reporter: seth doane, cbs news, maslin, ohio. >> couric: and that's the "cbs evening news" for tonight. i'm katie couric. thank you for watching. i'll see you back here tomorrow. good night. captioning sponsored by cbs captioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org
a sticky day gives way to thunderstorms. but are we out of the woods yet. let's get to topper on that storm warning. >> we have a couple of warnings on the doppler and the thunderstorms had warnings on them em iyer. they are still heavy. crossing fredericksberg, around spotsylvania and cross over toward thornberg in the next 30 minutes or so. the rest of us are in good shape. at least for the time being. we don't see anything yet firing off to the west. but this is where we'll keep an eye out just to the east of the mountain. so we'll go to the computer. so for tonight, thunderstorms ending, mild and temperatures 66-72. we'll come back and talk about the weekend temperatures and the humidity.